Quick Bites: Chevy Open, Day 3 - Major League Fishing

Quick Bites: Chevy Open, Day 3

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Greg Hackney says his relatively poor performance on day three will only make him fish harder tomorrow for an Angler of the Year title. Photo by Jennifer Simmons. Angler: Greg Hackney.
June 24, 2005 • Jennifer Simmons • Archives

Wal-Mart FLW Tour

Chevy Open

Potomac River, La Plata, Md.

Semifinal round, Friday

Gonna get mean … Sure, a co-angler won $40,000 today, and the leading pro is a controversial figure with a near 4-pound-lead heading into the final day. But all anyone really wanted to talk about today was the surprising performances of Angler of the Year contenders Greg Hackney and Toshinari Namiki. Of the two, Namiki weighed in first, bringing in a 12-pound limit that put him at the bottom of the leaderboard. Then Hackney came up and weighed in an even smaller limit, putting him in 10th place and over a pound behind No. 9 Namiki. If anybody in the top 10 was motivated to fish today, it should have been the two AOY contenders, so why the bottom-dwelling numbers? “I had the best day, bite-wise, but I just fished the worst I have all week,” Hackney said. “What I did today was an embarrassment to the fishery.” He said on a typical tournament day, he might lose a couple of fish, but today that number was closer to 20. Even though Namiki has a slight edge weight-wise, he’ll still have to finish eight spots ahead of Hackney to claim the title, and Hackney says he’s never been more motivated. “This just makes me madder,” he said. “I really like negative reinforcement. I seem to funnel that into positive. I’m going to pull my pants up tomorrow and fish a little harder than I did today. I am going to get this.”

Charitable contributions … Co-angler winner Pat Wilson got by today with a little help from his friend – and day-three partner – Gary Yamamoto. Yamamoto had already boated eight keepers and was having a tough time catching any fish that would increase his limit, and he noticed that Wilson wasn’t having such good luck. The way Yamamoto was fishing made it hard for more than one cast to be made at a time, so he decided to change positions, put down his rod and let Wilson have his day. That turned out to be just the ticket for Wilson, who caught five today that weighed 14 pounds, 6 ounces to win $40,000 as the co-angler winner. … “I was catching lots of fish, and he was not catching any,” Yamamoto said. “He caught the 6-pounder, and he only had two other fish. I couldn’t increase my weight with what I was catching, so I decided to take him to a place where he could finish out his limit, and he did.” Yamamoto said the gracious act didn’t hurt him a bit, and in fact, he’s currently fourth with 14 pounds, 13 ounces. “That just shows what a great person he is,” Wilson said. … What goes around comes around: Yamamoto reported that Wilson taught him a technique that would come in handy for him tomorrow. Talk about a mutually beneficial relationship.

20-year-old co-angler Chad Hicks earned a 10th-place finish in his first-ever FLW Tour event.First time’s a charm … Add co-angler Chad Hicks to the list of anglers who made a top-10 finish on their first try this year on the FLW Tour. Hicks, though, may very well be the youngest of those, clocking in at only 20 years. “It’s the first FLW I signed up for,” he said. “I live about an hour and a half from here, and I’ve fished this river probably 30 times this year, so I thought it was time to sign up.” Hicks’ decision paid off to the tune of $3,000 as the No. 10 co-angler. … Last year was Hicks’ first season to fish the BFL, and he made the regional his first try. He’s now fishing that trail as a boater and is fishing EverStart Series events as a co-angler. “I’m working on a pro career, but it’s hard to do,” he said. “I did good my first year, and hopefully I can keep going. I’m still learning.”

Newby no newbie … You could say Sam Newby has a knack for the season-ending Open event, seeing as two of his three top-10 performances on the FLW Tour have come at this tournament. He won it in 2002 on Lake Champlain and is currently in third place on the Potomac River, though he’s more than 6 pounds behind the leader. Why the Open prowess? “I’ve always had really good luck in June,” he said simply. … There’s a lot more at stake this week for Newby than another Open victory. He’s one of the championship bubble-dwellers, and according to one unconfirmed calculation, he’ll need to finish sixth or higher tomorrow to make the 2005 FLW Tour Championship. “If I lose this deal,” he said, referring to a championship berth, “I didn’t lose it here.”

Quick numbers:

20,000: Number of extra dollars the co-angler champion wins in an Open event as opposed to a regular event.

Michael Iaconelli is enjoying his first real taste of FLW Tour success.3-12: Span of Michael Iaconelli’s lead over Clark Wendlandt, in pounds and ounces.

0: Number of top-10 finishes earned by Michael Iaconelli on the FLW Tour before this week.

2: Number of FLW Tour events co-angler winner Pat Wilson has ever fished.

6: Estimated weight, in pounds, of a fish lost by No. 5 co-angler Fred Martin.

25: Number of keepers that No. 5 pro Jerry Williams guesses he caught today.

20: Number of bass No. 10 pro Greg Hackney guesses he lost today.

Sound bites:

“All I had to do was close my eyes and throw.” – No. 8 co-angler Chris Koester, describing his day-one fishing experience with Jason Kilpatrick, a day Koester went on to lead.

“He wore me out.” – No. 6 co-angler George Polosky, who fished with the ever-exuberant Carl Svebek today.

“I was part of the Clark Wendlandt show.” – Co-angler Merle Wells Jr., who fished behind the No. 2 pro on day three. Wells finished ninth.

“I didn’t even see him break dance once today.” – Co-angler Kent McPhail, on fishing with Mike Iaconelli, who’s known for busting a move after catching a keeper bass.

“I heard Iaconelli doing a lot of screaming this morning.” – Pro Sam Newby, commenting on another one of Mike Iaconelli’s infamous on-the-water habits.

“Well, I got lucky once.” – No. 6 pro George Cochran, describing how he won an FLW Tour event back in its inaugural season.

“The chill bumps are happenin’!” – No. 7 pro Carl Svebek after weighing in a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass.

“I’m having the time of my life out here with my son.” – No. 5 pro Jerry Williams, whose son, Keith, also fishes professionally for Team Land O’Lakes.

Greg Hackney talks to Charlie Evans while his fellow Angler of the Year contender Toshinari Namiki checks out the leaderboard. Namiki is one spot and 1 pound, 6 ounces ahead of Hackney.“I should have fished a lot smarter today.” – Angler of the Year contender Toshinari Namiki, who’s currently in ninth place.

“There’s going to be some bad video footage today.” – The other Angler of the Year contender, Greg Hackney, who fared even worse and landed in 10th.

Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. EST at Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury.